Incubator trolley design has taken many weird and wonderful excursions over the years, mostly to improve efficiency but often as an exercise in reducing manufacturing costs.
Communal trolley turning systems have been around for a long time. When new they are very efficient at delivering a consistent 43° to 45° turning angle. Unfortunately, when the joints start to wear the turning angle is eroded, especially towards the back of the line. Also, if something goes wrong it can affect the whole machine, causing poor hatches and, at worst, costly machine down-time.
Communal turning systems also require a strengthened incubator cabinet to cope with the immense pressure required to turn the eggs. This is often in the form of steel or aluminium extrusions that can act as a conduit for ‘thermal leakage’ causing unwanted localised condensation, cold spots and energy losses.
EmTech’s roots are in individual actuator driven trolleys. The main benefits are that if one fails it can be easily and cheaply replaced, and they always deliver a consistent turning angle. They are also easy to keep clean, unlike some communal mechanisms that are difficult to access and remove for maintenance. There are, however, problems associated with individual actuators. The most commonly used actuator in older type incubators is the GC84 model. Although it is IP55 rated* it is often unable to withstand water penetration from pressure and trolley washers. Over time they will require regular maintenance and replacement and, when operating from 230Vac, present a very real risk of electrocution. At the very least they require regular testing under typical portable appliance testing (PAT) regulations. This actuator is still in use today in many older type hatcheries throughout the world.
For all their single and multi-stage incubation systems EmTech have returned to their roots in trolley design.
Each setter trolley has an aluminium frame, stainless tray carriers and turning mechanism and, crucially, a 24Vdc individual actuator. The advantage of the EmTech 24Vdc actuator is that it is IP66 rated and therefore easily capable of withstanding pressure washing and trolley washers. It delivers 1,000N of operating force and does not require routine PAT testing.
Individual trolley turning, uniquely, also facilitates trolley ID and fail alarm which is particularly important in single stage operations where incubators are closed for 18 days. In addition, trolleys can also be used in egg store turning systems, this is especially useful when eggs are stored for longer periods such as in PS and GP operations.
EmTech also offers their 24Vdc actuator as a retrofit upgrade to replace the GC84 230Vac unit in older type setters. It is fully compatible with Buckeye Genesis 2 and Genesis 3 controls that operate with the Turn Trolley identification and failure system.
Sometimes the ‘old fashioned’ ways are best. EmTech has taken the major benefits of those older systems and coupled them with a modern, highly efficient, reliable, low cost and low maintenance solution that really delivers what the customer wants.
* The GC84 230Vac unit does display an IP55 rating but this is negated due to the groove cut into the shaft to operate the level limit switch.